I picked up two of the Bite Beauty French Press Lip Glosses ($22 each for 15 oz/4.3 g, made in Canada) in Salted Caramel and Dirty Chai and liked the colors so much I decided to buy the remaining four. The French Press Lip Glosses are coffee scented sheer glosses that have a cream finish. The coffee scent is actually pleasant to me, it’s like a soft sweet coffee scent and it’s not overpowering or heavy. After testing these for a few days I feel like this is both a hit and miss at the same time. Colors are really amazing, formula is something I think could be better.
There are six shades total, all coffee-inspired ranging from a light beige to deep brown. Colors include:
Flat White is a pale cool cream pink
Vanilla Latte is a creamy beige
Salted Caramel is a medium pink beige
Dirty Chai is a pink rose
French Press is a medium brown
Black Coffee is a deep brown plum
The texture is smooth and not sticky. It feels comfortable and moderately hydrating on the lips. Color-payoff and finish is where I think this gloss could be improved. Both Flat White and Black Coffee settled into lip lines and looked really patchy. Even with extra blending I found I couldn’t make them look right. Vanilla Latte worked better for me and I found it moderately streaky. I could smooth it out by swiping the sponge applicator back and forth. However after around 15 minutes I found it settled into fine lines on my lips. To fix the streaking issue I had to layer with a lip pencil, which seemed to fix it 100%. I tested these with some MAC Lip Pencils and Laura Mercier Lip Pencils and the final result was much better.
The remaining three colors Salted Caramel, Dirty Chai and French Press have a better formula for me. I found they worked well alone on bare lips, but adding a lip pencil improves the overall look and lasting power.
Swatch comparisons to MAC Lipglass in C-Thru, NARS Velvet Lip Glides in Stripped and Swing, Bite Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Caramelized and Whip, Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks in Honeycomb, Molasses, Chai and Verbena:
All this said, if you look at the customer reviews at Sephora, they’re overwhelmingly positive. For me Salted Caramel and Dirty Chai worked the best and I’m happy with those picks. The rest of the colors are so pretty but I found the formula somewhat lacking due to the settling into fine lines and streaky application. I’m willing to make the extra effort to make the other colors work, but with all the options on the market these days I think a formula should be excellent as is without any extra tweaking required.
A few shots in direct sunlight:
Bottom line I’m conflicted about my thoughts. Colors are great, formula could be a lot better. I can make them work with a little lip liner added. I don’t know that I would say it’s worth the extra effort especially with all the other options out there, but I do know many people like these.
You can find the Bite Beauty French Press Lip Gloss at Sephora and Bite Beauty. If you’re shopping at Sephora don’t forget today is the last day of their Beauty Insider Appreciation Event! You can use promo code once online, but you can use it in stores an unlimited amount of times. Valid in both US and Canada:
Rouge Members: 20% off with code YESROUGE, valid 8/24 through 9/3
VIB Members: 15% off with code YESVIB, valid 8/30 through 9/3
Beauty Insiders: 10% off with code YESINSIDER, valid 8/30 through 9/3
I have a roundup of my Sephora haul picks from the Beauty Insider Appreciation Event for Rouge. I ended up purchasing a little bit from every category for makeup, skincare and hair care. I still have a few things sitting in my online cart but since I did a massive haul I will probably not be purchasing anymore items for the event. I just hauled everything on Friday so I haven’t had time to test everything. Notes and first impressions on the items I have been able to test.
Makeup Base Picks
There were a few new bases I wanted to try out. Foundation shopping kinda stresses me out with the matching process. Some oxidize to different levels and in store lighting isn’t the best, so it can be a little tricky. There are a few other formulas I’ve been meaning to try but testers weren’t available so I’m going to have to guess sight unseen. Ones I did pick up:
beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation in 3.50 and 3.60, they only had a tester of 3.50 and while it looked good in store it did apply a little on the light side. I bought 3.60 and tried it at home which is a perfect match. I am getting tan though with regular outdoor runs. The next shades up look like a big jump so I may have to mix when I get darker. First impressions are really good, I like the coverage, it lasts all day, it’s not irritating and didn’t oxidize too much. A more detailed review to follow.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream Oil-Free Matte in Medium Tan – I’ve yet to try any of the It Cosmetics bases even though they’re extremely popular! Medium looked too light in store but after swatching Medium Tan at home I think it may be too dark. I will report back after I give it a test.
Natasha Denona Transformatte Pore Vanishing Matte Foundation samples in 27WY, 30W and 31W. These oxidized like crazy in store on my hand, but when I tried this on the face at home they did not. I still need to do more testing, but this is a full coverage true matte. I think my best match is 31W which is more yellow/olive.
Swatches below. Also included MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC30 and NC35 for reference.
Also not a haul item but since some of you have asked, I wanted to share some swatches of the new First Aid Beauty Concealer. It’s available in 7 shades. I received press samples of this formula but haven’t had a chance to test this out. I will keep you posted. I think my shade match is going to be #3.
I have mostly skincare in my online shopping cart, so many things are either online only or not available in my local store. It’s tempting to stock up but for now I picked up:
I’m in need of a curling iron and had the T3 1.25″ Iron on my list. Part of me wants to wait until holiday to see if there are any sets. Part of me wants to take advantage of the discount and buy it now. Decisions, decisions! I hauled 3 items:
I’m always a sucker for a good lip. I actually bought the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks before but they were lost in all our moving last year. I repurchased S1ngle and Spanked, both are ultra smooth with full coverage and aren’t dry looking. I need to try more of these! I also picked up two of the Bite Beauty French Press Lip Glosses in Salted Caramel and Dirty Chai. Both are perfect neutrals. I tried Salted Caramel and think it’s the perfect pink beige. I also bought one of the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in Estrella which is so sparkly I don’t recommend it. It’s not chunky, it’s very smooth but the shimmer is a little too much (it was an impulse buy). Last but not least the sparkles got the best of me and I picked up the Pat McGrath Lip Fetish in Gold Astral to try.
That wraps up my Sephora haul! If there are any items you want reviewed first let me know in the comments and I’ll try to prioritize those!
Have you bought anything yet for the Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Event? What did you haul? You can use the Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciate promo code once online and unlimited times in store. Valid in both US and Canada, dates for each tier:
Rouge Members: 20% off with code YESROUGE, valid 8/24 through 9/3
VIB Members: 15% off with code YESVIB, valid 8/30 through 9/3
Beauty Insiders: 10% off with code YESINSIDER, valid 8/30 through 9/3
First Aid Beauty concealers provided for review. Other items purchased by me.
I have my huge Sephora sale haul with some first impressions on items I was able to test in a few days. I stocked up on a few favorites and also ordered some things I had been curious about for quite some time. This haul is a pretty hefty one and as the first round of the sale was just a little bit ago I haven’t been able to test everything. I did swatch all the color items as makeup is easier get an idea of with the first application. I had quite a few misses. Everything is going to take some time to work my way through. Let me know if you want a more detailed review on anything in particular and I’ll try to do one at a later date. The sale runs through November 15th. If you’re shopping online don’t forget to use the code for your Beauty Insider tier!
Rouge Members get 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
VIB Members get 20% off with code 20FORVIB
Beauty Insider Members get 15% off with INSIDER15
Up first are the lip items. By now I think I’ve been pretty good at picking things online and sight unseen but having misses is bound to happen. Thank goodness Sephora has a pretty good return policy because 3 of these are going back.
Kopari Coconut Kiss Kit – hit! The set lives up to the raves. These are sheer tinted balms with a nice coconut scent. They have an emollient feel with fun colors. All the shades are bright but sheer so they are very wearable.
Bite Beauty Champagne Discover Lip Set – this was a miss on everything except the lipliner in Cashew. I’ve tried the Multisticks before and found them incredibly dry for the lips. I decided to give it another try and it’s still a solid miss for me. The Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss in Champagne is thick and so metallic it’s not flattering on my skin tone. I know many people love these formulas so it may be a hit for you. For me just not my thing.
Kevyn Aucoin Molton Liquid Lipstick in Copper – this was a huge miss because it’s also not flattering on my skintone. I had high hopes because I love and adore the same formula in Rose Gold.
Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color in Casablanca – I’m undecided, it’s a lot darker than I had anticipated. This is the first in the formula I’ve tried and it took over 50 clicks to get any product out. The color is rich and pretty but it settled a tiny bit into lip lines. I think it’s a great color for fall. I’ll need to test it out longer to decide.
Burberry Lip Color Contour in Medium – huge miss, I’ve swatched this on my hand at the stores numerous times over the past year, on my lips it just makes my whole complexion look dead and lifeless. It’s one I’ll have to layer with other shades to get to work. I’m going to try and make it work for me as the formula is smooth and feels nice on the lips – alone it just doesn’t look so great.
Face and Eye Picks
For face and eyes, I bought a few foundations in darker colors because I’ve gotten even more color from the sun. To me this is a little puzzling as I’ve really made a conscious effort to stay out of the sun with the heat. Apparently I haven’t tried enough because I’ve gone a full shade darker:
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick in Golden I guessed my shade because Nude was a bit too light. Golden works ok but alone all over my face it’s a bit too yellowish. If I use it on areas I just need more coverage it works just fine.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Kit in Radiant – undecided on this, I tried it and found the pigment beautiful with smooth texture. It’s easy to blend and layer but the colors are a lot darker than I had anticipated. They also oxidize and deepen on my skin without getting muddy, but as my skin warms up they get deeper/darker so I have to experiment more with application. If you have deeper skin tone and struggle finding blushes pigmented or dark enough to show up on you, definitely give this a look. I think the pigment is excellent!
Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in Sugar Frost and Moonlight (repurchase), I’ve swatched all my current Caviar Eye Sticks and Matte Caviar Eye Sticks below
Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic in Scandalust is a palette I received as a press sample months ago but it arrived completely shattered. I was able to test the broken bits and fell in love with the colors. I decided to buy one to replace it. It pulls warm but it’s so pretty for the season.
Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara – I actually meant to get the waterproof version, but I do remember liking the original so I’ll keep this one!
For fragrance and hair:
Atelier Cologne Set – LOVE! there are several Atelier Cologne sets online, it was hard to pick one, but I decided on the Necessaire Curated by Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel. It has Sud Magnolia, Pomelo Paradis, Orange Sanguine, Vanille Insensee, Bois Blonds, Cedre Atlas. Orange Sanguine is one of the best citrus scents I’ve smelled. Vanille Insensee is one of two vanilla scents I’ve found that I can actually wear. Bois Blonds is already a favorite. I’m trying to wait until I can visit a free standing store again before I buy full size bottles. I stopped by one in San Francisco over the fall and had the best time exploring there.
Elizabeth and James Choose Your Nirvana Coffret Warm and Spicy has generously sized minis of the Amethyst, Black and Bourbon. I like them for fall but don’t know that I can pull them off in Florida’s kind of fall/winter. I felt the minis were the best way to enjoy them without committing to the full sizes just in case.
Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner – LOVE! I actually bought both of these weeks ago and they are both my newest shampoo/conditioner obsession. Many of you want something that’s sulfate free and these are great options for a good clean rinse that leaves hair shiny and bouncy. They are back in my cart for round 2 so I can stock up on the larger size that comes with a pump.
Verb Hydrating Mask – LOVE! I tried a sample packet before and fell in love, it’s really hydrating, but I still favor the Ouai Mask (just hate the packaging of those packets).
Skincare Restocks and Splurges
Skincare is where I spent the most, I restocked on staples and also picked new things to try:
SK-II Pitera Mid-Day Essence – excited to try this one, although I have a feeling this may be too moisturizing for me. I gave it a quick mid-day test the day I received it and it felt a bit too rich for my skintype me. I’ll have to test it more before I can say how well it works.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer is something I bought months ago, in our multiple moves it has been buried in one of our moving boxes, I repurchased it and hope it’s as good as the rest of her ExfoliKate line.
Kate Somerville Anti-Bac Clearing Lotion is something I also have high hopes for. It appears MAC discontinued my favorite Prep+Prime Blemish Control Gel which was one of the few that worked for me and did not turn my face red. I’ve been in search of a replacement and hope this will be the one!
Farmacy Green Screen Daily Environmental Protector with SPF30 is a mineral sunscreen with impressive rave reviews. People say it doesn’t have a white cast on the skin and is non-greasy. The description says it has solutions for fine lines and wrinkles so I’m going to give it a try.
Lancome BiFacil Face is something I’ve been so curious about. I really love their Micellar Water so it will be interesting to see how this compares. In the bottle I find it interesting that a very very small portion at the top is suspended (the oil portion).
In summary I still have a lot of testing for these items before I can make a proper assessment. For makeup I find it easier to judge on color and application alone. Three of my lip purchases were definitely misses. The Hourglass foundation could be a better match but I find there are often gaps in their color lineup for bases so I’ll have to go to the store and see. The Anastasia Beverly Hills blush kit is lovely, but is just a lot darker than I expected. I think the SK-II mist may be too rich for my skin type.
That wraps it up for my haul! Did you pick up or stock up on anything during the sale? This time of year there are lots of sales going on and with the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday events approaching there’s definitely plenty of time to find good deals. Oftentimes I wish these sales were spread out a little more. In case you missed it, my top recommendations in this post here (e-gift card giveaway has ended and winners have been e-mailed!).
The Sephora Beauty Insider Sale runs through November 15th. If you’re shopping online don’t forget to use the code for your Beauty Insider tier!
Rouge Members get 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
VIB Members get 20% off with code 20FORVIB
Beauty Insider Members get 15% off with INSIDER15
Did you get anything from the Sephora sale yet? Or are you waiting for other sales? I’ll be covering some holiday launches from Tatcha soon as their Friends and Family sale is also happening and many of you have asked me for a review on their lip launches.
I finally splurged on the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer because Sephora has a Dyson x Blown-A-Ouai Set this season. It’s one of the most expensive beauty tools I’ve purchased and based on my testing I think it 100% lives up to the hype. After reviewing the new Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer I was thrilled to see how many of you love haircare posts and especially surprised many expressed interest in a review of the Dyson Supersonic. This dryer has been out on the market for quite some time now and it has caught my eye on numerous occasions but I could not bring myself to splurge as I already own and love several other dryers. The Sephora set pushed me over the edge and for those who have been contemplating it for the Beauty Insider Sale I hope this review helps you make your decision either way. This dryer comes with an ultra-hefty price tag but it 100% exceeded my expectations and to me I think it lives up to the hype.
The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer currently runs at $399 which includes the dryer, smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator, diffuser, non-slip mat and storage hanger. There are a few value sets available at various retailers that come with a case or other accessories. The Sephora Blown-A-Ouai Set caught my eye because it comes with all the nozzles, diffuser, mat and hanger but also has a travel bag and four Ouai haircare products including the Repair Shampoo (2 fl oz), Repair Conditioner (2 fl oz), Soft Mousse (1.7 oz) and the Hair Oil (1.5 fl oz). Because of the mousse do note this must ship ground so it may take a little longer to get to you if you order it. Also it appears that this is an online exclusive at Sephora. Note the one I’ve reviewed is limited-edition for 2017. Current 2018 version Dyson Blown Ouai Set comes with the matte black dryer and slight variation of products.
I didn’t take pictures of the boxes but the entire set comes beautifully boxed in three separate boxes. The dryer + attachments come in its own box. The bag has it’s own box. The Ouai products also come in their own box. Everything is packaged in a way that even in transit nothing moves around and all pieces are held securely in place. It may seem excessive but I really appreciate when items are carefully packed (especially liquids) and to me this is super important especially at the price.
I must admit I thought there was a chance this dryer was going to be a high-tech gimmick but we’ve owned a few Dyson products for the home and found them 100% worth the splurge. We also own a Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum that we bought four years ago and it’s held up remarkably well even with daily use. We find it essential as we own 3 pets with white fur and they shed constantly. We are always vacuuming, using swiffers and washing the pets. When Andrew first saw this dryer out of the box he did not think it was going to be anything special. Then I turned it on and we did a side by side performance comparison to the Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi and we both saw that the Dyson Supersonic has a lot more power, more control options, and although it is odd-shaped for a dryer, very ergonomic and easy to hold and maneuver. The air flow is a lot more controlled and for some reason the way it’s designed makes for a less frizzy blow out. I’ve experienced a lot of hair breakage from hair ties over the past few months and as parts of my hair have grown out I find my hair is prone to a lot of static or flyaways that stick up. This of course can be fixed with a bit of pomade, gel or shine product. The Dyson dryer seemed to reduce all frizz for me.
Dyson Supersonic Dryer in White/Nickel
This is one of the fanciest products I beauty tools own. It has what Dyson calls Intelligent Heat Control technology because it measures temperature 20 times a second and transmits data to the microprocessor. This in turn controls temperature to prevent heat damage. Power-wise- it has a Dyson Digital Motor V9 which is supposedly on average 6 times faster and a third of the weight of other dryer motors. The motor is actually in the handle which is why it feels different in your hands compared to a traditional one. It is so powerful it nearly knocked off all the things on my counter as I didn’t pay attention where I was pointing it when I turned it on.
For the features:
There are four heat settings and a constant cold mode
There are three airflow power settings
The nozzles and diffuser are magnetic and easy to rotate
There is a removable filter cage at the base you can remove for easy cleaning
One of the best things to me is the mat which helps prevent it from slipping or getting scratched once you set it down
I don’t have the hanger cord shown below as I’m always losing little things like hair ties and I’ve already misplaced the little hanging device
Due to the high power it does indeed give me a super fast blow out. I like the lightest or medium heat setting for my hair type. It isn’t the quietest I own or the lightest but it’s easy to hold and use. The only con I see is the extra long cord. This could be seen as a pro or con depending on your preference and needs. I find it long and cumbersome and it takes up a lot of space. The bag it comes with doesn’t quite fold over at the top like the stock photo shows but it’s not a deal breaker. It holds the dryer, it’s super long cord + two nozzles which is perfect for travel. The cord takes up most of the space. I don’t usually use a diffuser so I did not test it out, but both nozzles provide precise control.
Dyson Travel Storage Bag
For the Ouai products that come in this set I have already tried and fell in love with the Repair Shampoo and Repair Conditioner. I have been meaning to restock on the full sizes but just bought the Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner which I also really like. The Hair Oil is something I wasn’t a fan of originally because of the scent but it has grown on me over the past year. I gifted several partially used bottles away to friends who were dying to try it but didn’t want to buy the full size without trying it first. I’m glad I have another one now. The Soft Mousse is new to me. I’m not a mousse fan simply because I don’t like the texture and find them sticky. This one is exceptionally soft like the name implies and has a very nice dry down.
Ouai Haircare Products in the Set
A quick hair demo. Since I just got this I haven’t been able to put weeks of testing into this. I have tried it 8 times so far and used this multiple times in a single day. My hair has held up just fine to the heat and power. I do find the highest heat setting too strong for me right now (just for scalp sensitivity) but it did not scorch or dry out my hair. Do note the components will get hot so after you dry your hair I recommend you don’t touch it. I used the Ouai Hair Oil to prep my towel dried hair. Hair was dried very quickly within 5-6 minutes. The result was perfect evenly dried hair with a lightweight feel and airy feel without any signs of frizz. My ends needed a bit of work but I haven’t had a haircut in months.
Quick Demo with the highest airflow and middle heat setting and highest heat setting
Because I know you all love the comparisons here is a side by side look at the Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi. I really cannot pick a favorite. All three perform exceptionally well. The Harry Josh and T3 are both lighter in weight than the Dyson. The Harry Josh is the most gentle on the hair – if you have sensitivity to heat, this one has the softest (but still powerful) heat settings so you don’t get that crispy feeling on the scalp after drying your hair. The T3 gives me shinier hair after a blow out but doesn’t cut down the dry time. The Dyson is by far the most powerful. When you look at the Dyson it doesn’t look like it would be travel friendly but when I compare it to the other two, based on the shape and design I think it is.
If I were forced to pick one to keep right now I’d say I would keep the Dyson. Harry Josh comes in very close second. Why? Simply because the Dyson packs in more power and the fact that it leaves my hair with zero frizz is really impressive. That being said I did read some of the negative reviews online and if you have very dry hair or a sensitive scalp, I’d recommend opting for the Harry Josh instead. While the Dyson did not dry out my hair I think the sheer strength and power could be too much for some.
I have a couple upcoming trips before the end of the year. I’ll be sure to let you know which one I end up packing with me as I know many of you like my packing posts as much as I love sharing them 🙂
Dyson vs Harry Josh vs T3
Bottom line a winner for me. I wholeheartedly recommend it and for me it 100% lived up to the hype. Definitely worth the splurge for me and I still can’t believe I spent $400 on this (I ordered it before the sale started). While I love it, I don’t think you need to spend this much to get a good quality dryer. There are definitely other more affordable tools that will get the job done well.
You can find the Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set exclusively at Sephora for $399. One shown is 2017 version. New version here.
There are a few other sets available right now and as the holiday season approaches I suspect more could pop up. You can find the Iron/Fuchsia win a special limited-edition Dyson Your Blowout Set at Nordstrom for $399. There is the Iron/Fuchsia with a Light Pink Case at QVC for $399. Also three variations of the Supersonic + Living Proof at QVC for $399 as well.
Have you tried the Dyson Supersonic before? What did you think?
It’s that time of year again for the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale! The 20% off sale starts today November 3rd and runs through the 6th for Rouge Members online and in store. If you’re shopping online use code 20FORROUGE. In addition there’s a bonus weekend for Rouge Members to shop the sale for a second round from November 10th to the 15th. My top recommendations and a few things on my wishlist:
Tom Ford Lip Colors ($54 each) have launched in a wide range of new colors (my picks swatched here), there are also the clutch-sized Boys and Girls ($36 each) in new colors this season (girls swatched here)
Rag & Bone launched fragrances a while ago and it looks like they just launched online at Sephora! I have and love Bergamot, they have a Fine Fragrance Collection Sampler ($99 for 8 3.5 ml vials), I’m debating this set or more of the Atelier Cologne Sets as I really love their fragrances (I’ve only bought Bois Blonds so far but have tried a number of samples)
Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set ($399) is something that was on my wishlist but I hauled last week, I had hoped to receive it in time to test and review before today but it ships ground due to the contents so I didn’t get it in the mail yet, I will try to test and review ASAP but it looks like a pretty good value with the extras you get
Rouge – November 3rd – 6th and 10th – 15th, 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
VIB – November 10th – 15th, 20% off (will list code as soon as I get it)
Beauty Insiders – November 10th – 15th, 15% off (will list code as soon as I get it)
I’m hosting a giveaway for the sale! It’s open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter and qualify. I’m giving away FIVE $75 e-gift cards to Sephora. Simply enter through the widget below. Giveaway is not sponsored and will run through November 8th. I’ll pick five separate winners through the widget and e-mail them by the 9th just in time for the second round. Please note you will need to respond within 24 hours or another person will be selected in your place. E-gift cards will be sent to the selected winners within 24 hours after I receive a response confirmation.
I recently did a massive Pat McGrath Labs beauty haul from Sephora. A large number of you have asked me for a review on the MatteTrance Lipsticks ($38 each for 0.14 oz/ 4 g) and since I’ve never really been big on matte lips I did not plan on looking into these. I don’t think I’ve ever received so many review requests on a single product so once I saw that she launched a creamy formula called LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38 each for 0.14 oz/ 4 g) I ordered a handful online sight unseen. I also added some of the MatteLuxe Lipsticks, Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils ($25 each for 1.2 g/ 0.042 oz) and one shade of the Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner ($25 each for 1.2 g/ 0.042 oz) to my cart to try out. A couple days ago I finally saw the line in person at my local store and everything is just stunning! Since I just received my order recently this is more of a first impressions rather than a detailed review.
A look at the stunning display in store:
First can we talk about the box packaging? I know super pretty boxes and packaging can be a waste, but the presentation is just so pretty. Opening any of the lipsticks or pencils is like opening a present. I don’t know if the gold embossed icons on the front have any meaning but everything is so artistic and creative.
The Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils and Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliners are super smooth and creamy. They glide onto the skin and are waterproof. They have about the same smoothness as the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencils (which last long but aren’t budge-proof on me). The Pat McGrath Labs pencils have VERY impressive lasting power. I swatched them on the hand and they would not come off easily. On the lips they stay put all day long. The liner on the eyes does not smudge all day. They have enough of an emollient smooth gel-like quality that you can apply and blend it out a little before it dries and sets. But once it sets it stays put. Pigment is ultra rich, there’s no tugging with application, it feels comfortable and performs well.
Colors I bought:
Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff is a medium neutral pink
Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Done Undone is a lighter pink nude with a hint of pearl
Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Bare Rose is a pretty soft rose with a slight sheen
Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Suburbia is a deeper rose pink
Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner in Blitz Brown is a deep bronze with shimmer
At the store I also looked at Supernatural and Contour. Both were more brown without any pink tones, along the lines of MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown. I didn’t buy any more as I had already hauled quite a few. I don’t typically wear brown lipliners with the exception of MAC Stripdown and Oak so I felt the pinks and neutrals were my best bet. I do think I’ll consider other shades of the Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner but for now I love the one I have. All the pencils come with a sharpener.
Comparison swatches below to NARS Man Ray Velvet Eye Pencil in Santiago, Marc Jacobs Matte Highliner in Earthquake, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude and Pillow Talk, MAC Lip Pencils in Boldly Bare, Whirl, Dervish, Spice and Soar.
Next are the lipsticks which are mind blowing good. It was pretty risky for me to order so many colors in a new-to-me formula sight unseen. The last time I did that with a brand I hadn’t tried before, it was total a fail. These Pat McGrath LuxeTrance and MatteTrance Lipsticks do not disappoint and they are easily among the best I’ve tried. I would say the matte formula tops all other matte formulas I’ve tried with the exception of the Louboutin Mattes. I’ve said that Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks (also swatched here) have been in my favorites list. That was before I tried Pat McGrath’s.
The lipsticks come in a sleek metal black and gold tube. Both formulas have the same packaging. They have a cute gold embossed/raised lip which I think could have been really tacky to be frank, but they managed to make it look sleek and luxe. There is a good weight to the tube so it feels solid. They are well designed in every way.
LuxeTrance of course is my formula of choice. It’s a creamy opaque lipstick with full coverage. All the shades are creams without shimmer. They’re one-swipe wonders and make the lips look full. They glide onto the lips, feel super smooth, have a comforting feel and have impressive lasting power. I would say you get similar coverage with the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipsticks. They are also just as opaque as the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche formula but more creamy with a bit more slip. The LuxeTrance isn’t super thick but it does have substance and when you wear it, it looks like you are definitely wearing lipstick. Colors I picked:
Donatella is a pale nude, it pulls pinkish on me
Sextrology is a light salmon pink
Realness is a perfect peachy nude
Valletta is a light peachy pink
She’s Heaven is a neutral brown-pink
Beautiful Creature is a stunning plum
Attitude is a neutral brown
For other nudes, I also saw La Beija in store. The online swatch made me think it might be too dark/brown so I did not order it. In real life it’s a lot lighter than the stock swatch. It’s a pretty light-medium peachy beige and I would have bought it but they were sold out.
The MatteTrance Lipstick formula has a unique almost whipped like feel. They glide onto the lips and have a nice sheen even though they are clearly matte. They don’t make the lips look dried out or flat. They didn’t dry out my lips and lasted a decent amount of time. The texture of the lipstick in the tube looks almost like they took a sponge to make an imprint on the exterior. There is no texture when you apply though – it’s 100% smooth.
1995 is a stunning light neutral pink nude
Omi is the perfect rose pink
As far as I can tell there’s no detectable scent with these.
Bottom line pure love and lots to explore. There are a lot of bold shades in all the formulas. I did take a look at the Eyeshadow Palettes which are quite impressive in size and color selection. Each one had quite a few glitzy shades or at least 2 shades in each palette I didn’t think I’d use so for now I’ve passed. I do hope they launch more palettes or singles so you’d be able to pick and choose. For now I’m more than happy with my lip picks and eyeliner.
I’m a neutral lip addict and have a roundup review of some new formulas and color out right now. All of these picks are from Sephora as it seems like that’s where most of the new launches are at for the moment. Sephora stores are actually where quite a few of my readers have run into me – in multiple cities and not always my hometown stores lol. Many thanks to each of you who have been so kind to introduce yourself and say hello – I’ve been really touched with how nice you all are in person.
So for the new stuff – many of you have been asking about the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments. I’ve put some shades from each formula to the test. I also have some new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses swatched, Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks reviewed (not new, but new to me) and a first impressions of the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. There are also quite a few comparison swatches in this post for reference. It’s a little bit of a lot for the lips.
Up first are the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipsticks. My DMs and emails have been literally flooded with review requests. Since I really loved the Amuse Bouche Lipstick formula this was an easy yes for me. I went to multiple stores to track these down because one didn’t have all the colors. And one of these is an online exclusive for VIB Rouge.
These aren’t like the normal liquid lipsticks on the market which dry down to a matte finish. These are essentially lipsticks in a liquid form but with a creamy finish. In my opinion this is what all liquid lipsticks should look and feel like, but I know not everyone will agree with me. Cava is the VIB Rouge Online Exclusive shade and with one swipe on the arm I knew immediately this would not be a wearable one for me. On my tan/medium skin it looks like a lilac. I do think it will suit fair skins better so I did not swatch this on my lips and instead am saving this for a friend. Caramelized is a beige with warm tones, Whip is the perfect nude pink, Chutney is a medium rose.
The formula is opaque and creamy. There’s a beveled sponge tip applicator which allows for precise application at the tip and the angled end covers/fills your entire lip area. Lasting power is quite impressive. There is color transfer to cups if you drink but it still stays put really well for hours. Formula has a nice nourishing feel – since it’s opaque it is a bit thick, but you can easily blend it out since a little goes a long way. Most of the colors in the line ran dark. I picked the lightest options and then it jumped to fairly dark or deep. To me they have a fall vibe but I guess since fall is going to be here soon these have arrived right on time.
I think the best color is Whip.
Below all four shades I bought swatched, compared to the Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb, Pepper and Sake. I normally can’t wear super cool-toned colors on the lips because of my yellow skintone, Sake is about as cool as I go unless it’s a darker plum. The Liquified Lipstick has more opaque coverage compared to the Lipstick version.
Next is are two of my favorite lip gloss formulas. I’ve already featured the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Skin Deep here in May but wanted to feature it again. It’s the perfect neutral-cool toned nude that has medium sheer pigment. On me it goes on a bit mauvey because of my tan and pigmented lips. If I were lighter it would be more on the neutral side. About a year ago Anastasia Beverly Hills launched some mini lip gloss sets with colors exclusive to that set. Set I purchased reviewed here. The other set has been repromoted this year at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale now. Earlier this summer she finally launched most of them individually in full size. I bought three Lip Glosses from Sephora in Toffee, Amber and Caramel as they are my favorites. For quick reference I’ve swatched a couple other neutrals from her line. Her packaging has changed slightly but the applicators are the same.
Descriptions of the following: Marc Jacobs Skin Deep is a neutral nude pink. It has medium coverage with a glossy sheen. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses have full opaque coverage and a flat sponge tip applicator. Toffee is a neutral beige, Amber is a light peachy cream, Caramel is a medium warm pink, Kristen is a neutral pink-brown, Vintage is similar but more pink/rose. The Anastasia Lip Glosses are perfect – I wish she had more wearable conservative neutrals but for now these are perfect.
Next is the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. These are refillable and my local Sephora had a small handful of shades. The colors on display pretty much all looked the same and they were all neutrals. I swatched them on my hand and every single one looked perfect. Texture is creamy with a natural shine and it had impressive coverage. I limited myself to 1 in I Woke Up which is a perfect medium rose pink. Everything about this is perfect from color, formula, finish, feel and lasting power yet it has one major drawback for me: I find it overpriced for the size. I’m not one to pass up a lipstick because of price (ie Tom Ford, Louboutin, Cle de Peau, Surratt etc.) These lipsticks are supposed to be refillable with the refills priced at $22 which seems a bit more reasonable. But when you see these in person, they are SUPER tiny. The upside is that if you buy one or a few you will most likely use it up entirely before it goes bad. I feel conflicted about these – I actually find the packaging sleek and pretty. It’s something you have to see and feel in person to see how nice they are. The formula and coverage is excellent. I just can’t help but feel the price can’t really be justified for the size. These are 0.03 oz for $34 while Tom Ford Lips and Boys are 0.07 oz for $35.
Last are the mattes. In general matte liquid lips do not do so well on my lips. I have full lips and the matte dry down tends to emphasize lip lines and make my lips look very dry. I have still put quite a few to the test – I can make them work by adding a balm like the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade or Reviver Balms underneath or by dabbing a tiny bit of gloss on top. Some of the colors from these lines are so perfect – I wish they were made in other formulas. The Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks have been raved about by so many people. For me the lighter shades 101 and 103 are a miss because they’re too pale for me, but deeper ones like 109 work better. The formula is a true matte and it’s super opaque. You only need a thin layer to get full coverage. I dab a tiny bit and blend with the fingers. These dry down to a full matte which I’m not a fan of – still the formula didn’t dry out my lips even if it made them look dry and they do stay put once you apply them.
The NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments were sent to me for review. I have all the colors and if you’re interested in a separate review let me know in the comments. For this post I tested the colors I knew I would wear on a regular basis. These are liquid matte lipsticks with a thinner formula which makes them easier for me to work with. Still they dry down to a velvety matte finish which I don’t like so to test these I had to apply the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balms underneath to make them work. The colors of the Powermatte Lip Pigments are so good – American Woman and Walk This Way are the best colors pinks I’ve tested in a long time. They’re not quite neutral but at the same time aren’t super bright. Just What I Needed is a perfect mauve neutral. I’m a huge fan of the Velvet Lip Glide because they’re more forgiving and don’t dry down to a full matte. I wish that NARS expanded that color range instead of this formula, but I’m happy that I can make it work with a bit of balm underneath. Lasting power even on top of a balm is really good – like most liquid lipsticks it will stay put for a long time. They don’t dry out the lips.
That wraps up my neutral lip testing and buys from Sephora. I hope you found this review helpful. To sum up all this testing, I’m still a lip gloss person at heart. My favorite lip gloss formula for opaque coverage is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss. Marc Jacobs has the best shine and smooth finish for a cushiony non-sticky feel. The next best opaque liquid lipgloss is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick. If you’re in search of a more traditional matte finish go with the new NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments.
I personally would give the Make Up For Ever Liquid Lipsticks a miss because I really don’t like the super matte dry down. These are ultra matte even with a balm underneath. I’m still undecided on the Hourglass lipsticks. If I were to rate them just on performance, quality and color, I’d 100% give it an A+. The price is what is holding me back from giving it a huge thumbs up – but product-wise it’s excellent.
All this being said, fall is usually a huge season for lip launches. I don’t know what’s in store for the upcoming season, but if you’re unsure about any of these there should be no rush. It appears that all are permanent, at least for now until the brand decides to reformulate something or discontinue a product. They will be around for a while. If you want to know what one new lip formula I think you should buy from this round up it would be to try one of the new Bite Liquid Lipsticks. If those really aren’t your thing I’d say wait a month or so to see what fall has in store for us.
Have you tried any of these formulas or colors yet? What did you think? You can find all of these now at Sephora. The NARS Powermatte Pigments were sent for review. All others purchased by me.